Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 138: October 2008

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Review: Wadfest 2008
6. Competitions
7. Review: Mort - The Musical, The Yvonne Ardaud Theatre, Guildford
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 138. On Thursday 11th September I attended a small gathering at the Royal Society in London to celebrate the launch of Nation and The Folklore of Discworld and also to celebrate 25 years of Discworld. A few Discworld fans were invited but most of the guests were from publishing backgrounds. A couple of guests I recognised outside of Discworld circles were authors Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials) and Jacqueline Wilson (Tracy Beaker). Also present was Jacqueline Simpson, co-author of The Folklore of Discworld.

Terry seemed in fine form and gave an interesting talk about how he had the idea for Nation back in 1994. The story had apparently been waiting around in his head for an opportunity to be written. Commenting on The Time's review of Nation, which described one of the villains as very two-dimensional, Terry said "Two dimensional, I wrote him as one dimensional. I didn't want him to have any redeeming features at all."

Like all good parties goodie bags were given out at the end. Sadly there was no cake in them, just copies of Nation and The Folklore of Discworld (which I had purchased just a couple of days before) and a nice pack of 25th anniversary Discworld playing cards and a Nation pen. I was rather cheeky and obtained a second bag to raffle off for charity (believe me, it's no fun getting round the Underground carrying four hardback books). See section 6 for a chance to purchase tickets for this raffle.

Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to and we will consider it for publication.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Soft Toy Abductor)

2. News

Paul Kruzycki - Chairman of the first three Discworld Conventions has set himself the challenge of running next year's London Flora marathon.

Paul will be running to raise funds for Diabetes UK - Diabetes has no cure and can only be controlled. Diabetes UK are working to improve the lives of the many thousands of people who have the condition and help identify those who don't even know they have it before their health is damaged.

Paul admits that he is not a super athlete or fit - this is a real challenge for him and he needs our help to raise funds for Diabetes UK.

So if you feel you can give a little to charity please visit

Terry is doing a live chat with the Washington Post at 11 am EST on Wednesday, October 1st.

For more information visit:

The NADWCon vice-chair, Emily Whitten, has written a report of the recent Discworld Convention in Birmingham:

The con report sections are:

03 September 2008 @ 01:25 pm UK Discworld Convention Report, Part I (Friday)

04 September 2008 @ 08:55 pm UK Discworld Convention Report, Part II (Saturday)

04 September 2008 @ 10:23 pm UK Convention Report, Part III (Sunday)

04 September 2008 @ 10:24 pm UK Discworld Convention, Part IV (Monday)

Her Flickr photos are here:

Users of 2nd life will be able to meet Terry on the Island from his new novel Nation on Thursday 9th October. Transworld has painstakingly re-created Mau's nation island in the computer generated virtual world. You can now follow a treasure hunt based on ideas from the book to find a secret website that allows you to enter a competition for Nation prizes.

On Friday 26th September at 8pm (GMT) there will be a virtual fancy dress party with a top prize of 500 linden dollars (the in game money). The party will take place on Elysian Isle at the following address:

I was at the party which was a lot of fun (talking with other Discworld fans from around the world) and won 2nd prize for my fancy dress costume.

For more information about 2nd life and to download the free client visit

Also on 2nd Life a group of fans are building Ankh-Morpork. The idea is that eventually you will be able to walk around the city.

Ankh-Morpork is located at:

The promised October release of The Colour of Magic on DVD in the UK has slipped slightly to 3rd November 2008 and is available to pre-order from all the normal outlets. PJSMPrints will be allowing you to pre-order signed editions from the 1st October.

It appears that The Colour of Magic will not be shown on German television in 2008, however German TV station RTL plan to broadcast it in March or May 2009.

Back in 2005 at the last Clarecraft Discworld Event Terry mentioned that he had sold the movie rights for Truckers to Dreamworks. Very little has been mentioned since until very recently. It appears that Danny Boyle (director of Trainspotting and 28 Days Later) is picking up the reigns of this project.

News from Colin Smythe:

For a review of Nation in The Times (London), see

Terry is interviewed at

A report on his honorary doctorate from Bucks New University, with an audio interview can be found at

An update on Dreamworks' Truckers

Another review of Nation in The Guardian, by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Discworld Dates...

This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.

[UK] Shepperton Players are planning a production of "Carpe Jugulum" in October 2008 at the Riverside Arts Centre (59 Thames St, Lower Sunbury, Middx TW16 5QF). The production will be on stage 1st to 4th October.

[UK] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by Straight from the Heart Productions at the Assembly Rooms in Glastonbury, Somerset. Doors open 7.30pm for 8pm start on October 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Tickets are 5 GBP, 4 GBP concs and 3 GBP children. More details at

[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by Port Sunlight Players (Wirral, North-West England) from Thursday 9th - Saturday 11th October.

Doors open at 7pm and performances start at 7:30pm. Tickets cost 6 GBP (5 GBP concessions).

Tickets are available on 0151 344 3040.

[UK, Updated] The Broken Drummers is a London Discworld Group that meets once a month on a Monday evening. Membership is free - just come along. New members and visitors to London are both welcome and encouraged.

October's meeting will be on Monday 13th October at the Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ.

Keep an eye on or e-mail

[UK, New] Carpe Jugulum will be performed by the Longueville Little Theatre Company (LLTC) from Wednesday 22nd - Saturday 25th October 2008 at 7:30pm at The Chrysalis, Japonica Lane, Willen Park South, Milton Keynes, MK15 9JY

Tickets cost 8 GBP (7 GBP Concessions). If you book tickets in advance ticket prices are reduced by 50p.

Tickets are available from or 07979 403517 or Longueville Little Theatre Company, 14 Swanwick Lane, Broughton, Milton Keynes, MK10 9LB

[UK] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by ACE Theatre Company from West Sussex in October and November.

Performances on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th October are at The Hawth Studio, Crawley, Box Office 01293 553636

Performances on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th November are at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead, Box Office 01342 302000.

All performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets 10 GBP, concessions 9 GBP.

[UK, New] York Rising Stars are performing MORT on 31st October & 1st November 2008, at the York Railway Institute, Queen Street, York. Next door to York Railway Station.

The audience are encourage to get into the Halloween spirit and come along in fancy dress - everyone in costume will be entered in to a special door raffle to win a pair of tickets to the opening night of either the Pantomime 'Matron Wibble Wobble' in February 2009, or a pair of tickets to the opening night of our next Pratchett production, 'Maskerade' in May 2009.

There will also be a fund-raising raffle at each performance, as well as refreshments available in the main hall, and in the bar downstairs.

Tickets are 5 GBP each, and can be obtained by emailing or calling 01904 623222. For more information please visit:

[UK] The Wincanton Hogswatch Event will be celebrated on the 29th and 30th November. Visit for more details once they have been confirmed.

[AU] Nullus Anxietas 2: The Second Australian Discworld Convention February 27 to March 1 2009 Storey Hall, RMIT, 342 Swanston St, Melbourne

If you want to stay on top of the latest news, sign up on the mailing list:

[US] The First North American Discworld Convention will take place from September 4-7, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information visit"

3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters or comments, please email them to

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters in the peace and tranquillity of our own homes.

It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.

The best letter of the month will receive a Kiss the Cook print supplied as by Bonsai Trading. Sadly Bonsai Trading is no longer trading but John Pagan has kindly supplied me with a reasonable supply of prints to give away.

* From: "Liz Kearney"
Dwarfs Walk Among Us

Life imitating art, indeed....The September 15, 2008 New Yorker magazine profiles one Martin Herrenknecht, a digger of tunnels on a grand scale. He's working on the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which will run for 35 miles under the Alps when it's completed in 2017.

But here's what struck me immediately:

  1. He says he's more comfortable underground than above.
  2. When one of the big tunnel-digging machines got stuck in a cave-in and practically buried itself--don't worry, the men got out okay--it was such a tragedy it had to be "rescued." Fortunately, it was.
  3. His grandmother was a seamstress!

Just had to share this with the Discworld world.

DWM replies: Liz gets this month's Letter of The Month.

* From: "Dave Edwards"
We saw half of Mort the Musical at the Yvonne Arnaud at Guildford and it was absolutely fantastic!

Sadly, I'd messed up the dates with work travel arrangements and had to leave during the interval to catch a flight.

We're keen to know where it's on next, so we can see the end and catch up on what we've missed.

We've got the book, of course, but the sight of Death dancing is worth seeing on the stage.

Can anyone let us know where "Mort" will be on again in the South East England area ?

* From: "Damien Smith"
I read this in the news the other day and it gave me a mighty flashback to Going Postal. No mention as to whether they found the winged hat under this lot though:,23599,24323672-13762,00.html

Young postman 'too busy' to deliver letters

September 10, 2008 09:36am

Article from: Agence France-Presse

A YOUNG Scotsman working as a postal carrier in the German business capital of Frankfurt failed to deliver the mail for more than a year and hoarded or disposed of at least 20,000 letters, police say. The 23-year-old employee of a private postal firm told authorities he was overworked and opted to collect the envelopes in his flat or throw them away rather than deliver them, authorities said. He was caught when a neighbour in Frankfurt saw him dumping stamped envelopes, catalogues, circulars and packages into a rubbish bin. The woman grew suspicious because she had seen the Scot do the same thing with dozens of letters before and noticed overflowing mailbags in the basement of their apartment building. She alerted the police and the firm that employed the man. A search turned up post in his wardrobe, under his mattress and in other nooks and crannies of his flat. He then led police to the storage cellar where they found more sacks and boxes full of parcels and envelopes addressed to recipients including law offices, hospitals, tax authorities and private citizens. Police estimated that at least 20,000 letters entrusted to the man had not reached their intended recipients, including a few letters addressed to the Scot himself. "The 23-year-old had not opened any of the letters but simply stored them so he would not have to deliver them,'' the statement said. "The young man stated that he was attending night school to earn his secondary school diploma and found it too overwhelming to carry the mail on top of that.'' He now faces possible charges of theft and misappropriation of mail.

DWM replies: I am sure we have run similar stories to this before. It just goes to show that it is more common than most people think.

* From: "Jan Meggat"
Thanks for telling me about Greenock Player's production of Maskerade. Took my hubby who's never read PTerry and he thoroughly enjoyed the show. So did I although I still believe that the best way to savour Mr P. is by reading him and I'm trying to start said hubby on the books. Trouble is I feel that The Colour of Magic may not be mature enough for him (he is 68!) so I'm smithering between The Wyrd Sisters (my personal favourite) and Mort. Any suggestions from your readers would be appreciated

* From: "yoav lubelsky"
In response to Gary O'Connor letter about the rat eating in India. The Indian authorities obviously don't know their rat since the one thing they forgot to mention is ADD KETCHUP. also I saw this picture on an underwater photography forum check it out the photographer is obviously a Discworld fan even if he don't know that.

* From: "Kylee Maloney"
In the glossary of 'FAIRIES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM' By Miss Perspicacia Tick, the following entry has intrigued me for some while. "Eldritch:weird, strange. Sometimes means oblong, too. for some reason. " What "reason" could that be, I wonder? Is it possible that the Feegles and the Luggage have ever met?

They're magical creatures after all: the one travelling interdimentionally for the purpose of -say - finding the quickest way to the pub, and the other travelling that way perhaps to shorten the journey back to its owner who keeps getting caught up in the tangles of space time.

Either way, if there was ever a documented meeting, it's certainly one I wouldn't want to miss, provided I was watching from a very safe distance - say - through an omniscope.

* From: "Elizabeth Ingle"
Really good time, a lot of new members, made lots of new friends and enjoyed meeting up with old ones. Jacqueline Simpson is a great addition to the family, her pronunciation of "dragons" alone was worth her ticket money. Lovely lady. Terry looked good, caught him asleep once, but that is TRADITIONAL isnt it? Committee did a grand job, so much to see and do, all of it interesting. Hotel coped well, when there were (small) problems, they got them sorted soonest. Our only beef now is, we are getting older, and sometimes we get a bit tired! Anyone got a few years to spare? Still, see you in 2010 we hope, Liz and Keith Ingle

4. DiscTrivia

This month I'm asking questions about Going Postal.

What position does Groat hold at the start of the novel?
Before becoming head of Stamps what is Stanley Howler's obsession?
What did Adora Bell Dearheart's brother call her?
a) Sister
b) Spike
c) Killer
d) Psycho
What did Reacher Guilt's Parrot say most often?
Who are the three members of the Smoking Gnu?

The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.

5. Review: Wadfest 2008

Reviewed by Jason Anthony.

This year's event was Wadfest's 7th outing. My eldest daughter and I have been to them all except the very first one. Over the years Wadfest has grown into one of the biggest events on the Discworld calendar and is now a "must do" event for a lot of Discworld fans.

Each year Wadfest has a theme and this year the theme was "Voodoo for Dummies". Previous themes have included Koom Valley, The Beggars Guild and Don't Go Near The Castle. Each year Rob Lupine organises a Murder Mystery where various volunteers are given roles to play. This time round Rob asked me if I would be willing to take part in the mystery and so I became Nick the Apocrathy for the day (and no I wasn't the murderer).

Last year The Guild of Drag Artistes decided that they would have an unofficial cocktail party with a difference - cross dressing. This year the cocktail party became an integrated part of the programme and it was amazing to see so many people in drag. Circumstances leading up to the event meant that I didn't have time to sort out a suitable dress for the party but the organisers had a large supply of little black numbers so before I knew it I was in costume. Slightly more worrying was the insistence of some of the teenagers at the event to do make-up for the new "laydees". There was a judgement at the party and the Miss Wadfest crown was duly handed over. Next year there are plans for both Miss Wadfest and Mrs Wadfest prizes.

Saturday started with sore heads for lots of the campers - it must have been something in the cocktails. After getting a great bacon and egg roll from the on-site caterers and downing a couple of mugs of tea it was time to get in to my costume and be ready to answer the questions of anyone taking part in the murder mystery.

During the day the Luggages (for the Luggage Wars) were constructed and colourfully painted by the many children that attend the event. Events for the day included Dodgeball tournament, followed by Live Pingoo - where children were encouraged to see how far they could hit plastic penguins with a club. "Boo the penguins" - "Hiss the penguins" - "Blow raspberries at the penguins".

In the traders' tent people were able to paint some whites created by Stamp Forum member Vimesy and also learn how to make origami frogs (that actually jumped) and boxes from resident expert Larry.

We also had the opportunity to make masks for the masked ball that was planned for that evening.

The ball started with the blessing of AJ and Rob (who got married only a few weeks before the event) by none other than PTim MacFeegle. A live band then played for a couple of hours while people mingled in the marquee. After the band finished a light box parade took place. Unfortunately only three people has made light boxes this year - but I expect to see more next year considering how great they looked as they were paraded round the campsite accompanied by a surprising number of people with lightsabres.

The main event on Sunday was the charity auction - where some wonderful items were auctioned off and some people got away with some great bargains. Eventually, when the sales of the Wadfest brown envelopes were added in the auction raised over 3,500 GBP for Cancer Research.

After collecting in all the money and handing out the auction items it was time to pack up the tent. During the auction it had rained heavily so taking the tent down wasn't a lot of fun but eventually we had everything packed away, and went about the process of saying our goodbyes.

The trip back took ages because of the traffic but we eventually arrived home happy but tired (and with post event blues just beginning to kick in). My daughter is already planning for next year's event that will have a "music with rocks in" theme.

For more information about Wadfest visit

Some photos of the event can be found at:

6. Competitions

This month I have a bag of Discworld goodies to give away in a raffle. The proceeds of the raffle will go to Alzheimers Research UK. The plastic bag itself is Discworld branded with a 25 years of Discworld logo emblazoned on the side. Inside are hardback edition of Nation and The Folklore of Discworld, a pack of 25th anniversary Discworld playing cards and a Nation pen that has a moving ship in it that moves when you tip the pen.

In order to win this pack of goodies you need to purchase one or more raffle tickets (the raffle is only available to people in the UK due to the cost of postage). Each ticket costs 2 GBP, please send your money to my PayPal account at - please also remember to mention that your are purchasing raffle tickets and how many you are purchasing, before 20th October 2008.

After that date I will randomly select a winning ticket and will contact the winner to arrange delivery. Please note that you will only get a PayPal confirmation of payment and will not get any confirmation from me unless you are the winner.

Good luck to all that take part. I will announce who won and the amount raised for charity next month.

Last month we had a signed copy of Nation to give away as supplied by Sandra Kidby. We needed you to tell us how much it would cost to pre-order signed copies of Nation, The Folklore of Discworld and The Illustrated Wee Free Men.

The answer we were looking for was 50 GBP without any postage costs and we received hundreds of entries.

The randomly selected correct entry belongs to Craig Johnson of Kendal in Cumbria. Your copy of Nation will soon be on its way.

For more information about the products that Sandra Kidby sells visit

7. Review: Mort - The Musical, The Yvonne Ardaud Theatre, Guildford

Reviewed by Kirstie May on Wednesday 20th August

Having been asked to review my first (and I suspect THE first) dedicated Pratchett musical, I wasn't sure what I was expecting to see. Would the story be told properly? Would there be balance between songs and storyline? Would the dancing take precedence over the acting? As an unashamed lover of musicals, I very much looked forward to finding out.

The production was adapted by Jennifer Toksvig and Dominic Halsam, for Youth Music Theatre: UK, using a company of 35 young adults. Right from the word go 'The Writer' (Marcus Dobson) set the tone of the production flawlessly - explaining the whys and wherefores of the Discworld to the audience in a role more usually described as Footnote. I felt that the explanation of the Discworld, making use of some of the cast to represent a giant turtle swimming across the stage was inspired.

Understandably there was a little artistic licence taken with the story - it would have been almost impossible to put everything into a 2 hour musical production otherwise. The story starts at the hiring fair in Sheepridge, with a wonderfully uplifting introduction to the company's musical style with 'Make a Living'. This is where we get our first look at Mort, performed by Jos Slovik. The first half wends its way nicely through the storyline, with both songs and story carrying the tale in equal parts up to Mort taking his first duty, and the resulting problems for Princess Keli. Throughout the show, Death strode across the stage - a 7 foot skeleton full body puppet, with a beautiful baritone - and promptly stole the show. Not that he wasn't given a full run for his money by the Duke of Sto Helit (Benjamin Norris), who coupled a cracking vocal talent with some killer comic timing, and an excellent Ysabell (Phoebe Fides).

The first act was well paced, but as it only took us as far as the consequences of Mort's actions in the bed chamber of Princess Keli, I was a little concerned that the second act had too much story to tell for this to keep up. Unfortunately I was proved right. Act 2 told the story in the style of 'this is what happens next' by The Writer, followed by a song about it. It was a pity, because it left the final battle between Death and Mort feeling a bit rushed. Also, and again sadly, there was quite a lot more artistic licence taken during this later stage and I don't think that it helped. I suspect however that those of us that had read the book perhaps felt this more keenly.

However, this aside, I feel that the cast did a fantastic job. During the later half of the second act and during a full crew song and dance number a slight technical hitch turned the entire theatre dark but they didn't miss a beat. Full credit to them for it, too.

All in all, this was a good performance and a fun night out for Loz and I. If you are a fan of musicals and get the chance to see this, then I suspect that you'll enjoy it very much.

8. The End

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Nation (non Discworld Hardback)

Folklore of the Discworld (add on book)

Making Money (Paperback)

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What position does Groat hold at the start of the novel?
Junior Postman Groat
Before becoming head of Stamps what is Stanley Howler's obsession?
What did Adora Bell Dearheart's brother call her?
c) Killer
What did Reacher Guilt's Parrot say most often?
Twelve and a half percent.
Who are the three members of the Smoking Gnu?
Sane Alex, Mad Al and Undecided Adrian.

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